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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

58 Re: Zero

"Start from Zero. And reset to Zero. Life is but an amaranth circle. "

-Subrata Karmakar

━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━

After the Re: Characterization process took its fruition, we closed our PI's inlaid platforms, in front of our field of vision.

Everyone then showed realistic vigor in assessing their decision, if they did, in fact, choose the correct Paradigms for themselves with choices to choose from of merely infinite. I presume, the otakus also are in a special baffling case. Why? Because it's usually at times like these that they will find themselves striving in a deep mud of options all for the sake of obtaining a quirky paradigm while still looking drafty.

It's fundamentally like a game's character creation, where most of them would spend an hour or two before they can decide for one. Sadly, not much time has been allocated for this so-called Re: Characterization, and in it was not the ubiquitous feat. It's not a means of us to defrag any of our physiques, it's merely just a process to condone our eligibility to now be able to descend to this path untravelled, of having our so-called 'Paradigms' and 'Paradigm Shifts' which outmaneuvers natural laws at will, given that retribution stands so at the end. Unfortunately, for those enthusiastic bunch, it's now but the point where 'What if I' questions boggle their mind to no end. Moreover, for the contended me, I find myself beginning to be busy in the opposite direction. Yet, why do I know all of this? Simple. I've been there, but at a much mediocre extent.

I then found myself reopening a portal which again leads to that dark minimalistic realm together both Shiro who frantically bid the slimes she was cheerfully playing with earlier, farewell.

(...)

"How's the arrival?"

"From 300k to now 10k... Quite the drastic change right?"

"First few hours and already losing such numbers is quite the significance. I'm highly acquainted with 'human enervation' but it never ceases to amuse me... So why are you here?", asked a goddess whose fragrance made it seem that she was again disturbed from one of her precious bath time.

"And I wonder who planned the creation of such 'enervative entities'?" I sarcastically asked with a face that spelled 'Did you forgot that they were brought here impromptu?'.

"As to your question... It's just as planned", I answered her in the same deadpan expression as the kid beside me began to wander her eyes in the realm to and fro looking if Mr. Pegasus-san is there. The goddess, as though knowing what Shiro wants, summoned another one, as playful and as majestic as before.

I then laid Shiro in its back and once again, they found themselves playing on the vast space and amidst the crystal chandeliers drifting without any known foundation.

"Hm... Right, but I would appreciate it if you would stop forcing yourself into someone else's room. Especially when they're taking a bath. Kono Ecchi"


"As if... Now, it makes me wonder, do you have anything else to do besides bathing in here?"

"Oh, there are many. Want me to show you?" Answered the Goddess as she sat down again on her peculiar throne at the epicenter of the realm.

"No thanks."

"Still as direct as ever...So, what do you think of the third realm?"

"You seriously asking me that? You know that it hasn't been that long before the first steps, right?"

"Certainly. You're not obliged to answer that, for now at least... So why are you here again?"

"I told you, it's planned."

"Uhm... Planned peeping?"

"Seriously, just what is wrong with you... So, moving on from unnecessary details, you knew about this Persona Interface all along right?"

"Yes, and what about it?"

"I think you already know why I'm here... I and Shiro's Affiliate information is somewhat 'bugged' and I don't even know if that's the correct word to describe it. It just shows random characters as if there was an error kind of prompt. Do the systems know that we faked join or something?"

"Quite possibly, but cutting to the chase, it's my doing."

"What did you do?"

"Just altered some of the system's governing rules I guess, but only to the both of you."

"Hmmm?? So nice of you to include Shiro in your plans... And by the way, I think I know who the Herrscher of Zeus is. He made quite the first impression here. I'm surprised as to how you described that thunder as 'Cute'...."

"Heeee?? It is in fact 'Cute'. There's no changing that." She answered while her facade showcased an expression of mocking the destructive power we just saw. It's in these types of scenarios when Lacrimosa unveils how mysterious she really is, and it just makes me wonder how powerful could she really be. The Lacrimosa that I'm seeing now is but the tip of one massive iceberg.

"Just how powerful are you?" I questioned, facing her unpretentiously as she looked to me in the eyes with the same confident and breezy glare whilst she crossed her legs sitting comfortably on her throne.

"Just probably enough to bring down a magistrate or two. That's all." She answered, and I don't sense any ambiguity in that response. But, to bring down a Magistrate, who the deities revered as the commanders of their congregation chosen by the primordial themselves, it's quite implausible.

But then I guess, it's okay to believe in the implausible, for now. For someone who's power is drawn from sadness, from depression and of any dark and ill emotions, it's quite comprehensible how she had the potential to bring down a Magistrate. It's a grotesque world of endless requiems from where we came from, a world ruled by sins and one that does not cease to gush forth darkness. It's an ideal Nirvana where she can attain power.

"Then, I'll repeat this again... having you here somewhat breaks this 'equilibrium' right?"

"Yes. That is an irrefutable fact. That's why they are resetting our powers starting from Zero..." she exclaimed, but I still find this resetting whatnot process a little bit debatable and it's all written all over my face.

"You don't believe? It doesn't mean that I can't prove it to you, you know?" the goddess as she sensed the wanton ominousity claimed.

"Then prove it," I answered.

And then, as if the Ethereal Paradigm also takes hold of her, there appeared in front, a platform, same as the Persona Interface, but more complex and intricate in form, that I think she alone could understand what's inscribed within.

There are a few symbols that I am quite familiarized with though, the decreasing numbers in the most lower part of the display. Yet it is still in its trillionth digit. I guess there is the resetting process? I wonder how many days will it reach zero?

"If you have recently undergone the compulsory process of 'Re: Characterization, we also have to undertake such a trivial process, but It's called 'Re: Zero' in our part. It's to assure the equilibrium as it aims to reset our powers back from square one... And even that fallen Viscount himself should be under the same situation." she explained...

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